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post #781 of 790 Old 01-12-2019
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Re: Suicide at Sea and captain charged

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post #782 of 790 Old 01-12-2019
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Re: Suicide at Sea and captain charged

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Oh, btw the deceased crew didnít have his day in court. Think he deserved one. Donít care for what legal semantics are applied. That simple fact persists

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In this case, any grievances Pontious had were litigated unsuccessfully by his family in a civil action, and by the US Attorney in a criminal action. The legal system provided him two opportunities for his "day in court." The system doesn't guarantee that any particular party to the proceedings will like the outcome. Pontious received his day in court, twice.

Although I would agree with Outbound in his take on the events at sea, I think Sailormon6 is correct here. Pontious and his family ended up "emptyhanded", but they did get "justice". Our legal system cannot produce perfect results; no human system can. But our system is far better than its predecessor & primary historical alternative--in which families/clans extract their own "justice". Those "honor" cultures--an eye for eye, tooth for a tooth, life for a life" inevitably descend into generational blood feuds. Our Anglo-American legal system evolved over centuries, supplanting ancient Germanic honor cultures. Such honor cultures still exist in other parts of the world--notably the Mideast. To wit: an acquaintance of mine returned from a tour of duty in Iraq. He witnessed: Twelve year old kid steals a melon. Farmer kills the kid. Kid's family kills the farmer. Farmer's family kills someone else from the kid's family...and this will continue. Our forebears have freed us from this sort of thing, at the price of "imperfect" results, and we would be wise to preserve the gift they've bequeathed us: "justice" from disinterested individuals in a process with some "objective" rules vs "vengeance" from the injured parties.
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post #783 of 790 Old 01-12-2019
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Re: Suicide at Sea and captain charged

I thought the family didnít file in time so no civil case was pursued. Guess I got it wrong.

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post #784 of 790 Old 01-12-2019
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Re: Suicide at Sea and captain charged

Am I to understand there was no testimony of some of the expert witnesses like sea survival specialist Mario Vittone because of the acquittal? Would have been interesting to hear his testimony on survivability in the situation.

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post #785 of 790 Old 01-12-2019
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Re: Suicide at Sea and captain charged

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I thought the family didnít file in time so no civil case was pursued. Guess I got it wrong.
As I understand it, I believe you're correct. They pursued a civil remedy, but not within the time required by the statute of limitations. Statutes of limitations are laws passed by legislative bodies to set the maximum time after an event within which legal proceedings may be initiated. I don't know the time limit for that action, but it's probably at least a year. All they had to do to stop the time limit from expiring was to file a court complaint. You can't sit on your rights. The purpose of a statute of limitations is so that a potential lawsuit can't hang over your head indefinitely. Those matters have to end eventually, so people can go on with their lives.

A remedy was available to the family. It was up to them to take it.
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post #786 of 790 Old 04-23-2019
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Re: Suicide at Sea and captain charged

I know the Judge and the Magistrate, defense attorney and AUSA that oversaw the criminal end of this case. It ended on a defense Rule 29 motion before the jury even came in the Courtroom in St. Thomas. I had a feeling this was the way it would go. Here's a fairly cogent article from someone sitting in the courtroom: https://stthomassource.com/content/2...laughter-case/
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post #787 of 790 Old 04-23-2019
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Re: Suicide at Sea and captain charged

Interesting read. I have heard stories about people suffering psychological problems from Scopolamine patches. I've never used the patch and I haven't witnessed anyone having this sort of side effect. But I might insist that crew on my boat find a different treatment for seasickness, especially for offshore passages.

https://wavetrain.net/2019/03/27/the...im-to-suicide/
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post #788 of 790 Old 04-23-2019
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Re: Suicide at Sea and captain charged

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Interesting read. I have heard stories about people suffering psychological problems from Scopolamine patches. I've never used the patch and I haven't witnessed anyone having this sort of side effect. But I might insist that crew on my boat find a different treatment for seasickness, especially for offshore passages.

https://wavetrain.net/2019/03/27/the...im-to-suicide/
Interesting take. But the Coast Guard basically pointed out in their report that the Captain was not at fault. That and the fact Mike Sheesly convinced the Judge that this didn't fall under the Statute from a "commercial" perspective and was wrongly charged. First thing a good attorney does is analyze the charge and the elements of proof required. I've read stuff on this all over the place where one person wants the Cap to walk, the next wants him drawn and quartered. I have found, over the years, for the most part, proper application of the law will work things out (again, for the most part). I got more stories down here.
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post #789 of 790 Old 04-26-2019
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Re: Suicide at Sea and captain charged

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I know the Judge and the Magistrate, defense attorney and AUSA that oversaw the criminal end of this case. It ended on a defense Rule 29 motion before the jury even came in the Courtroom in St. Thomas. I had a feeling this was the way it would go. Here's a fairly cogent article from someone sitting in the courtroom: https://stthomassource.com/content/2...laughter-case/
Interesting summary of what happened in court that led to his acquittal.


One bit in there that I hadn't heard was the part about 7'-8' seas. I thought I'd read that they were nearly calm when the incident happened, or did I just imagine that? But of course there are all kinds of 7' seas, depending on whether the weather causing them is local or far away. I suppose at this point it doesn't matter but I keep trying to visualize conditions and a situation where just continuing onward like they did without spending even 15 minutes turning around and trying to locate their MOB could be seen as a reasonable thing to do. Short of being in a hurricane, so far I've been unsuccessful.
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post #790 of 790 Old 04-26-2019
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Re: Suicide at Sea and captain charged

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Interesting summary of what happened in court that led to his acquittal.


One bit in there that I hadn't heard was the part about 7'-8' seas. I thought I'd read that they were nearly calm when the incident happened, or did I just imagine that? But of course there are all kinds of 7' seas, depending on whether the weather causing them is local or far away. I suppose at this point it doesn't matter but I keep trying to visualize conditions and a situation where just continuing onward like they did without spending even 15 minutes turning around and trying to locate their MOB could be seen as a reasonable thing to do. Short of being in a hurricane, so far I've been unsuccessful.
Woulda coulda shoulda, but I'm not sure how hard I'd be looking for someone that just had their fingernails digging into my neck for several minutes. How would things might've gone had they gotten him back onboard? All speculative. All I speculated on was the outcome based on the initial report. The USCG investigator confirmed my theory. The defense attorney ended the matter with a R29 Motion for Acquittal.
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